"Take no heed of her...She reads a lot of books."
~Jasper Fforde

Friday, January 16, 2015

That Hole in My Life, Part II

As I had mentioned in my previous post, the completion of a TV show really can leave a big gaping hole in your life.  What are you supposed to do with all that free time? Where are you supposed to find characters to back and stuff to talk about with other like-minded friends who are also addicted to your favorite show?  Since I finished not one, but two shows over my Christmas break, I feel like I have way too much time on my hands and I don't know what to do with myself.  I've already blathered on enough about Death Note... now on to the second one: Space Dandy!

"The name's Dandy.  But you can call me Space Dandy!"

Dr. Gel
Space Dandy is an intergalactic alien hunter.  His job is to find rare and new species of aliens, capture them, and bring them to the registration center so that they can be documented (and then, it is presumed that they let them go again).  This way, everyone can keep track of what's in the universe. However, Dandy either is super-inept or just has really bad luck, because he almost never brings in anything of value. Meanwhile, in the background there is an intergalactic war between two opposing armies: that of the Gogol Empire, and that of the Jaicro Empire.  While this doesn't entirely affect what Dandy  does, his steps are constantly dogged by Dr. Gel, a high-ranking member of the Gogol Empire, (who just happens to be a giant gorilla in a periwig), working under direct orders of the devious Admiral Perry.

While Death Note was incredibly dark and heavy, Space Dandy is just off-the-wall and fun.  The storyline sometimes don't make a lot of sense, and the characters Dandy encounters just get stranger and stranger.  In his travels, he is accompanied by QT, an intelligent, but outdated robot vacuum cleaner, and Meow, a Betelgeusean who just happens to look like a cat.

Now, the series does have a tendency to get a bit ridiculous, and even a little raunchy.  For example, Dandy's favorite eatery is called Boobies (probably in homage to Hooters) and is one of my space "brestaurants" (haha).  The waitresses all walk around in bikinis, etc.  But, episode plots are so ridiculous, it's hard not to love this show!  Dandy explores all
Admiral Perry and Dr. Gel
sorts of strange planets, such as the one populated entirely by intelligent plants or the one where the two remaining creatures are locked in a battle to the death over which is better: shirts or pants.  And of course, there is the time when his crew gets turned into zombies, where he goes fishing for a legendary Piscean god in an ocean of mud, or my personal favorites: the shapeshifting imposter that prompts a gameshow to discover who the real Dandy is (The First Ever Dandy Quiz!), and the time that Admiral Perry conquers a planet of librarians because they charged him for an overdue library book!

I have laughed so hard watching this show.  Episode after episode, you're amazed by how they continue to surprise you.  And really, you have a team of very likeable characters.  Even the villainous Dr. Gel worms his way into your heart.  And Admiral Perry?  Well, every series needs that sinister villain!  But, seriously, this is just a fun series!  And I'm sorely in need of a good anime to fill in it's place (sometimes, all a girl needs is just a good, ridiculous space anime that makes little to no sense, but is still AWESOME.  Is that too much to ask?)

No!  That is not too much to ask :(
(Dandy, Meow, & QT)

In the meantime, though, I'm entertaining myself with One Piece, which is awesome, and I have a line-up of other anime that I want to try.  I just have to find one that works for me.... I'll keep y'all posted :)

That Hole in My Life, Part I

I'm suffering from a big hole in my life.  You might have experienced something similar in different forms, but in my particular case, it's "I finished two anime series and now I don't know what to do with myself" syndrome.  For you, it might have been that moment when you finished marathoning Breaking Bad or whatever your show of choice is, and realized that this is it...a show that was a big part of your life is now done.  And what are you supposed to do now??

I like to multitask.  So, that means I usually have two or three books going at a time, and at least three TV shows.  Over the Christmas Break, I had been watching three, and finished two.

First up is Death Note.  This is was is an amazing series about good vs. evil; cat vs. mouse.  Light Yagami, a typical high school student, top of his class, incredibly popular and loved by all the ladies finds a mysterious notebook dropped on the sidewalk.  When he picks it up, he learns that it's called The Death Note, and the instructions inside explain that he can use it to kill people.  All he has to do is think of their face and write their name.  He thinks it's a joke, until he tries it...then the people whose names he writes down really do die.  Both horrified and exhilarated, Light decides to use this power to rid the world of all evil.  He meets Ryuk, a shinigami, or god of death, who owns the notebook.  Ryuk fills in a few more of the finer details of the notebook, but also makes it clear that he is not here to be Light's assistant.  Rather, he's bored, and is looking for something to amuse him.  He finds humans fascinating, and Light in particular, so he decides to stick around.

Soon, Light's desires to eliminate all evil start to gain nation attention.  If no cause of death is written in the Death Note, then the victims will suffer from a heart attack.  A huge outbreak of criminals having heart attacks has gotten the police very worried, and nations are joining together to try and track down this mysterious murderer, who has been dubbed "Kira," based on the Japanese pronunciation of the English word "killer".  Soon, the world's greatest detective, who never reveals his name or face to anyone, L, steps forward.  He openly challenges Kira, and quickly begins to draw the noose around Light.

The series can get super-dark, but the amazing lengths to which L and
Light/Kira will go in order to stop each other is quite extraordinary.  Plus, the finale is worth the price of admission.  This series was so amazing, and while the start was a bit slow, there comes a point when you just don't to stop, because you need to know how it ends.  Luckily, there are only two seasons, so after about 50 or so episodes, you'll be done.  You could probably binge watch this, but since it gets so heavy, I recommend taking in only one or two episodes at a time.  Pace yourself.  And one more quick thing...if you decide to watch this show, DO NOT LOOK UP ANYTHING ABOUT IT ONLINE UNTIL YOU'RE DONE!  There are some major spoilers online, and you hardly have to look for them.  A quick Google image search for Light or L could lead to you finding out how things end way too soon.  And I know, most shows have spoilers online, but this has a ton, and SPOILERS WILL SERIOUSLY RUIN THE ENTIRE SERIES FOR YOU.  Trust me.

Also, serious...watch Death Note!

Part 2 coming soon!

Monday, January 12, 2015

New Start

Ah, the start of a new year.  New classes, new excitement at work, and of course, new books to be read.  I'll be honest, I'm rather glad classes have started again.  There's something really fun about new classes, getting all new assignments, learning new things....But, give me about five more weeks and I'll be ready for summer again.

I have a lot of good things planned for this year.  But, the big one for right now (since there's too much snow outside to really have any fun) is going to be reading.  Lots of reading.  I have a whole list of books stacked up to dive into, including several manga series that I've already started (One Piece, Death Note, Phoenix, and Black Jack, just to name a few).  For this first blog post of the new year, though, I'm going to touch upon something very near and dear to my heart: the library.

I have read a couple books so far this year (If you don't believe me, just check my Goodreads account!), two of which have focused on that funny little place called Customer Service.  I Work at a Public Library (Gina Sheridan) and Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops (Jen Campbell) provided me with many a much needed laugh.  As a library staff member myself (I'm not sure if I actually mentioned this here--I keep writing up posts and deleting them before they're published--but I was promoted in July to an Adult Services Associate Librarian, yay!  That means I work even more with the public, and my stories have gotten stranger and stranger.  The stories in these books alternately surprised me, horrified me, or left me shaking my head with a knowing chuckle: these are things I knew all to well.  If you've ever wanted to work in customer service, or if you already do, then you should definitely check out these books!  They will probably scare you away from getting into a customer service position, but if they don't, you'll see just how much fun is to be had while working!

Classes have started today, so I'm getting acquainted with all the fun stuff I'll be learning this semester.  First is Public Libraries, with Library Services for Adults starting in a few weeks.  I'll be sure to keep you posted on anything interesting I read or learn, and I'm hoping to be a more active blogger this semester than I have been in the past.  Until next time, Happy New Year!